A Riverside County Animal Services officer on Monday plucked two chihuahuas who had their snouts taped closed from a canal, saving the life of one of the pooches.

The dogs were discovered about 11 a.m. as they drifted against a metal grate that prevented them from going further, according to Animal Services spokesman John Welsh. The female in the pair was the survivor. A male was declared dead after the rescue.

Animal Services officer Officer Kristina Hillegaart made the find after conducting a routine check of the area. The female is being checked out for signs of abuse.

“This was just complete malice,” she stated. “Someone was just looking to be cruel.” Added Animal Services Director Robert Miller, “This is just disgusting that someone would do something like this to innocent, defenseless animals.”

The Riverside Shelter and nonprofit Animal Solutions Konnection have offered up a $500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the abuser.

LA Weekly